D&D Classics Campaign: Queen of the Spiders I

Continued from the conclusion to Scourge of the Slave Lords…  Our players for this session are Nick (Alarik, Human Crusader 12) and Steve (Steve, Human Swordsage 12).  GM PCs include Mornrandir (Human Wizard 8/Fatespinner 4).

Two years have passed since the party defeated the Slave Lords.  In that downtime, Alarik has perfected his Mountain Dew concoction.  He uses the addictive substance to form a legion of addicts dependent on him.  This also moves him squarely into chaotic evil territory.  Steve, on the other hand, has spent the past two years curing himself of his Mountain Dew addiction in the form of intense rehab.  So intense that when Mornrandir scry’d on him with a crystal ball, he couldn’t bear to watch more than a few seconds.  Mornrandir has married the lady Dame Gold (after enchanting her, of course) and in doing so, became Lord of Safeton.

Alarik disguises his tendencies under the guise of a completely legitimate business man, as he opens a chain of restaurants across Greyhawk.  He’s granted a permit to open one such establishment in the Grand Duchy of Geoff.  Because the Grand Duchy of Geoff lies outside the lands traveled by the party so far, Alarik sends out invitations to his fellow party members to support him in this endeavor.  The party and general populace of Geoff are not the only ones interested in the opening of this restaurant.  Caerwyn Tyr has been resurrected by the Drow Goddess Lolth.  She has provided him considerable resources to destroy the party.  Lolth does not think Caerwyn will succeed but Caerwyn’s attack will ultimately further her agenda regardless of the outcome.

Opening day comes, Alarik and Steve catch up on what they’ve been doing the past two years and Caerwyn attacks with several minions including harpies.  While Steve’s distracted by the harpies and Alarik’s tied up on evacuating his customers (protecting them from Caerwyn’s minions), Caerwyn orders the men outside to begin burning the building down.  Alarik escapes before the wooden beams supporting the entry door collapse, leaving Caerwyn and Steve alone.  Steve makes his own escape by throwing Caerwyn through the wall.  Mornrandir arrives as this happens and the rest of Caerwyn’s minions are mopped up shortly afterwards.

The players find a contract assassination paper on Caerwyn, with the hit put out by the Slave Lords.  The contract tells Caerwyn to report to Isitivin, a city to the south, when he’s finished the job.  The party’s curious to see who would revive Caerwyn (of all options!) to come and assassinate them, so they decide to investigate the lead.  They head to Istivin and meet numerous refugees who are fleeing the lands surrounding that city.  The refugees talk of giants coming down from the mountains and enslaving their kindred.  Because the nobility is dealing with their own matters (rumors vary so the party isn’t hearing the full story) to deal with giant raids on such a large scale, adventurers are being hired to deal with them…with the promise of being able to keep whatever treasure they find.

The party reaches Istivin and come across the reason why the nobility there haven’t bothered with the giants.  The city has nearly been engulfed by a black, ebony sphere!  Adventurers are being sought to solve the mystery of this sphere; why it’s here and how to get rid of it…the problem is the sphere seems to be very selective of who is allowed to enter within it.  Most people touch the sphere and feel nothing but the hard surface.  Others have been able to enter it (as if it’s a portal) but the trip appears to be one-way.  The few who have entered have not emerged…

The King’s Agent, a wizard named Lashton, is in charge of dealing with the black sphere.  All who enter the city report to Lashton but hubris clouds his better judgment.  He has the party undergo bureaucratic procedure of filling out forms and indulging whatever silly answers they put down.  For instance, Alarik says his purpose in the city is to find the color yellow.  So, the King’s Agent assigns a troupe of guards to escort Alarik through the city to find all things that are yellow.  Steve and Mornrandir chat with Algorthas, the man who provided Caerwyn the information he needed to plan his assassination attempt.  The duo spare his life in exchange for information regarding Caerwyn’s masters, who are behind the giant’s enslavement raids.

With the information they need, the party begins a rampage through the lands of the giants.  Algorthas is able to give them the location of the hill giant steading and it becomes the first stop for the players.  The players slaughter the hill giants with relative ease after infiltrating the jarl’s quarters.  They make their way to the nursery and murder giant children, thus gaining passable disguises.  Mornrandir polymorphs into a hill giant, posing as a single parent with some very unruly children.  Said unruly children destroy the hill giant steading.  The jarl and most of his subordinates die at the hands of one of the giant children’s flame strike.  After freeing some prisoners, the party finds clues to the frost giant’s hold and achieve similar results (minus the disguises, since they no longer work).

Before heading to the fire giants (the last of the giant strongholds), the party teleports back to Istivin to rest and acquire a new party member (hopefully)…

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